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Today’s Deep Space Extra, Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 2nd, 2015

Today’s Deep Space Extra offers the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from across the globe. There is sound, then space: NASA’s Orion prime contractor will subject the developing human spacecraft to acoustic forces during ground tests. Russia intends to revive long dormant robotic lunar surface exploration. Sept. 27 will bring a rare supermoon total lunar eclipse. Wednesday marks the anniversary of 1859 mega geomagnetic storm. Cameras aboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft capture the moon Dione as it cross Saturn. Russia, Danish and Kazakh cosmonauts and astronauts began a 10 day round trip journey to the International Space Station. United Launch Alliance boosts U.S. Navy communications satellite into orbit early Wednesday. New Mexico’s Spaceport America signs new client, ARCA Space Corp for high altitude test, rocket launch activities.

Human Deep Space Exploration

Orion crew module to be blasted with sound in Littleton
Denver Post (9/1): Orion exploration capsule prime contractor Lockheed Martin plans to soon subject the human deep spacecraft to powerful acoustic forces. It’s another step in the development for the four astronaut capsule. The ground based acoustic testing is intended to simulate the sound environment generated by a Space Launch System heavy lift rocket launching.

Unmanned Deep Space Exploration

Russia aims to return to the moon
Spaceflightinsider.com (9/1): The Russia Space Research Institute plans a return to the moon with an unmanned lunar lander equipped to study the moon’s south pole. Luna 25 will carry digging tools and multiple cameras. The launch, planned for 2024, would be the first Russian lunar lander mission since 1976.

Rare ‘supermoon’ total lunar eclipse coming this month
Space.com (9/1): Sept. 27 will feature the first supermoon total lunar eclipse since 1982. The “super” part combines a full moon phase with the moon at its closest to the Earth while lined up behind the Earth and the sun. The combination of factors produces a reddish glow about the moon as well. The next supermoon total lunar eclipse will not occur until 2033.

156 years ago, a geomagnetic mega-storm
Spaceweather.com (9/2): Wednesday marks a special space weather anniversary, the 1859 Carrington Event in which a very powerful solar Coronal Mass Ejection struck the Earth’s magnetic field, triggering fires in telegraph offices and great glowing aurora. A similar event in modern times could cause trillions of dollars in damages to satellites and terrestrial power grids, according to estimates by experts.

This photo of Saturn’s moon Dione crossing the planet is simply jaw-dropping
Space.com (9/1): Cameras aboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft capture an amazing image of the moon Dione crossing the face of the host planet Saturn. The image was snapped on May 21.

Low Earth Orbit

Soyuz rocket blasts off on Space Station flight
CBS News (9/2): Russia’s Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft launched early Wednesday with three Russian, Danish and Kazakh cosmonauts and astronauts on a two day flight to the International Space Station. Their 10-day round trip will support spacecraft and personnel exchanges at the station as well as European and Kazakh experiments. The docking early Friday will place nine people at the Space Station for the first time since late 2013. Lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 12:37 a.m., EDT.

Rocket with ‘Denmark’s Gagarin’ lifts off to Space Station
Reuters (9/2): European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen became the first from his native Denmark to fly in space, with the launching early Wednesday of Russia’s three man Soyuz TMA-18M on a 10 day trip to the International Space Station.

Commercial to Low Earth Orbit

Atlas V blasts into space with Navy satellite
Orlando Sentinel (9/2): A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., early Wednesday with a U.S. Navy communications satellite developed for military mobile communications. The 7.5-ton MUOS-4 satellite lifted off at 6:18 a.m., EDT.

Suborbital

Spaceport America signs aerospace firm to launch contract
Albuquerque Journal (9/1): New Mexico’s Spaceport America announces that ARCA Space Corp., of Las Cruces, will conduct high altitude testing of aerospace products from the struggling spaceport. Company space launches may commence in 2016.

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